We all are trying hard of protecting ourself and others from Covid19. we’re following all the guidelines, including physical distancing and washing hands frequently. But have you think ever about the new mother or the lactating mother? what’s the deal with breastfeeding during this time?
New mothers are worried should we start/continue brestfeeding,either having symptoms of covid-19 or not.Keep in mind that scientists are still learning about this new virus, and medical research is ongoing. But from what experts know so far, it’s safe to breastfeed your baby. However, this situation calls for some special precautions, especially if you have any symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Few questiosns always arises in mind….
Does the virus pass into breast milk?
Some encouraging news are Researchers haven’t yet found SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk, though research is limited.we got only two case from china,which is not enough to draw conclusions,where both the women were covid 19 positive but they had healthy babies who didn’t have a corona virus infection. The mothers avoided skin contact with their newborn babies and isolated themselves until they recovered.
Additionally, while we are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, scientists do know its closest relative, SARS-CoV, very well. This coronavirus hasn’t been found in breast milk, either.
But more medical studies are needed.
So with this in mind, you can ask what should we do or what are the guidelines for breastfeeding?
If you can breastfeed your baby, it’s important to keep it up. But always maintain some guidelines to protect your baby during this pandemic.
We know that SARS-CoV-2 is spread mainly through tiny droplets in the air when a person who’s carrying the virus sneezes, coughs, or talks. In fact, this virus likes to move into the nose before it even causes symptoms in some people. Unfortunately, you can pass the virus on before you get symptoms, and even if you never have symptoms but are carrying it.While we’ve already established that you likely can’t pass on the new coronavirus through your breast milk, you can still pass it through droplets from your mouth and nose or by touching your little one after coming in contact with your face or these droplets.
So it’s especially important to follow few steps if you have COVID-19 symptoms or think you might have been exposed to the virus:
Wash your hands.You would wash your hands carefully before touching your baby in any case. Now, it’s vital to wash your hands frequently, especially before and after you pick up your baby or handle baby bottles and other baby items.
Wear a mask.Perhaps you used to wear one when you go out, but in your own house?! If you’re breastfeeding, then yes. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have even a chance that you may have it, wear a mask while you’re breastfeeding your baby. Wear it even if you don’t have symptoms. Also, wear a mask while you are holding, changing, or talking to your baby. This will a bit uncomfortable for you and it may startle or distract your little one at first, but it can help prevent a corona virus infection.
Disinfect surfaces.Clean and disinfect anything you’ve touched with an alcohol-based cleaner. This includes countertops, changing tables etc. Also, clean surfaces that you haven’t touched that might have air droplets on them.Carefully clean and disinfect everything that might touch your baby. This virus can survive on some services for up to 48 to 72 hours!
Beside maintainning the above steps may pump breast milk by using breast pumps.You may insist your partner or a family member feed your baby. Wash your hands and clean any area of skin the breast pump will touch.Ensure that the bottle is completely sterile by placing it in boiled water between feedings.
Keep baby formula on hand
You don’t have to breastfeed if you feel you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19 or not stable enough.Most health experts advise that breastfeeding is safe during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. According to some health organizations, mothers who have COVID-19 symptoms may even still be able to feed. However, a lot is currently unknown about this new corona virus.Much more research is needed, and some recommendations are conflicting. For example, doctors in China who treated women with newborns while fighting COVID-19 didn’t advised breastfeeding,though no virus was found in breast milk. If you have symptoms or may have a SARS-CoV-2 infection,talk to your doctor .
You can choose not to breastfeed or pump breast milk until you feel it’s safe to do so.Keep baby formula and sterile baby bottles ready , just in case if necessary.
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